THE DA will lay criminal charges against Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson for trying to halt the public protector’s investigation into her department’s awarding of an R800 million tender to Sekunjalo to manage the state’s fisheries patrol and research vessels.
And the DA has called on President Jacob Zuma to fire Joemat-Pettersson in the light of the public protector’s findings of maladministration, and improper and unethical conduct on the part of the minister.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said yesterday Joemat-Pettersson had written to Justice Minister Jeff Radebe asking him to halt the public protector’s investigation into allegations of improper conduct in awarding the tender to Sekunjalo. Joemat-Pettersson maintained the investigation was “unnecessary” as the tender to Sekunjalo Marine Service Consortium had been already been recalled.
Madonsela said Radebe had written to her asking her to assess Joemat-Pettersson’s request.
“I responded that the request was improper. I consider her conduct as constituting interference with an investigation,” Madonsela said.
DA spokesman on fisheries, Pieter van Dalen, who laid the complaint with the public protector that had led to the investigation of Joemat-Petterson and irregularities around the tender, described this as a “crucial finding”.